Life As A Case Manager

Life as a Case Manager

Working as a case manager for Rare Breed is rewarding but not always easy.  When we first meet the youth, they are overwhelmed and scared by the circumstances of their lives. Most have been repeatedly told they are worthless and will never amount to anything until they believe the words others have said.  When we meet these youth, they may have mental and physical illnesses related to the repeated trauma they endure.  Medical help is not a priority for our youth, surviving the day is. Some may self-medicate with anything they believe will help them through that painful moment. Our hardest job is to break through the lack of trust life has instilled in our youth. We do that by listening when they talk. We also pay attention to what they say without words. When youth tell us their stories, we do not condemn, chastise, or ridicule anything that has happened to them. That is part of trauma-informed-care that helps our youth begin to heal. We Bring Support and Hope As our youth laugh with us, cry with us, and everything in between, they start to trust again.  Once that barrier breaks, we can provide case management they want and need. When we first meet with a youth, we provide resources such as food, clothing, hygiene care, birth certificates, Ids, and Social Security cards.  After an initial meeting, we provide case management by supporting the youth as they start to have hopes and dreams about what tomorrow might bring. Case managers take those fragile dreams and help the youth make plans for how they will turn them into reality.  Those plans always start with big, excited, energetic steps like “I’m getting a job, a car, a house, then I’ll be a millionaire.” We help the youth break down those initial…

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Rare Breed Youth Services Success!

Rare Breed Youth Services Success!

When I first came to Rare Breed, I tagged along with a friend who was dating a Rare Breed youth. I did not need Rare Breed services, but I quickly found friends, and became a “Breed Kid” myself. My dad would drop me off at Rare Breed and pick me up on his way home from work. Being a rural kid, I did not have much to do during the day, so many of my friendships were from here. I went to every “Life Skills” class and involved myself in every group. Face painting at Neighborhood Night Out, and back-to-school events that Rare Breed took part in, I was there. During those years, the Rare Breed staff were always there for me, helping me learn how to ask for help, how to help others without hurting myself, and how to give back to other youth through peer support. My Husband, Colton Hughes Colton needed the "Breed" more than I did. During that time, he was housed through The Kitchen, Inc.’s Transitional Living program. There, Colton was given access to Anger Management and Harm Reduction classes, as well as Narcotics Anonymous. He says that he learned his street etiquette from his peers. He states, “It doesn’t matter if you know how to be safe if you overdose alone…it takes a tribe to stay safe.” Even now, some friends are doing well, but some are gone. They always told us the statistics of who would make it out. Colton has now been 6 years sober. Colton and I work well as a couple! We sat through many relationship groups with other broken kids trying to figure out how to make life work. Both of us quote helpful information from Rare Breed to each other, creating accountability between us because we were both…

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Happy Birthday Rare Breed

Happy Birthday Rare Breed

By Kathy Westmoreland - Youth Services Coordinator It is strange to sit in Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center during COVID 19 guidelines as the building is never this quiet. Youth are still coming in and receiving services, but our buzz is a little bit quieter these days. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on all the shifts, challenges, and wins that this program has seen over the course of twenty years. Countless youth have walked through our doors seeking assistance and they have all brought their own story. The one thing that I can say I have learned in my time here is that there is no one true face of youth homelessness, no one story that brings them here, but support can make all of the difference in their outcome. Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center has been blessed over the last twenty years with incredible support from our community, donors, and volunteers. From hot meals to art classes, the volume of care and compassion provided to our youth by the local community could never be measured, but the outcomes have been incredible. We could not do the work that we do without your help. Thank you. The Meaning Behind “Rare Breed’ I have been told that, when Rare Breed began, the youth chose the name because they are exactly that: a Rare Breed of individuals. They are often misunderstood, but so eager to define themselves and overcome old labels. Give them a few moments, and they will tell you exactly who they are. They have an incredible ability to speak their story from a place of compassion and understanding. For twenty years now, Rare Breed Staff have been offering these youth assistance in any way possible, even if all we do is sit and listen. Alumni…

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The Kitchen, Inc.’s Home at Last program is still housing Veterans!

Springfield, MO – The Kitchen, Inc.’s Home at Last program is still housing Veterans! In the months of March and April, Home at Last has housed 26 people, 35% under the age of 18. As a community, we understand and appreciate the importance of helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19, while providing a home. “During this COVID-19 crisis, Home at Last has been working hard to help Veterans who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless” said case manager Patrick Haenni. “Our goal is to help Veterans in an at-risk situation to maintain stable housing. We assist Veterans off the street and place them in a temporary motel. From there, the Veterans are placed into a more permanent residence.”  Required eligibility is determined by an assessment with The Kitchen, Inc’s Home at Last team. If a client has received assistance within the last two years, they may still be able to receive services due to COVID-19. The Veteran must have an income below 50% of the average median income to qualify (AMI). The Kitchen, Inc. brings stability and purpose to people who are homeless by displaying respect, dignity, quality, service, and compassion. Keep up with The Kitchen, Inc. by following us on social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. ###

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We Are Continuing To Provide Services!

April 23, 2020 Contact: Stefanie Nentrup Community Development Coordinator Snentrup@thekitcheninc.org 417-209-6191 (Cell) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Springfield, MO- We are continuing to provide services and resources during the COVID-19 “shelter in place” order. In the first 20 days of April, The Kitchen, Inc. has housed 28 individuals experiencing homelessness, making that a total of 379 individuals for the year! Need never stops, neither do we! We are still providing case management services along with food and hygiene deliveries. We are doing our part to provide a safe environment by maintaining enhanced cleaning protocols, which includes disinfecting surfaces in all common area’s multiple times daily, limiting access to shared facilities. Additionally, we strive to keep our residents and staff informed using flyers, and signage to encourage social distancing protocols. “This crisis is proving how effective we can be as a community when we work together in meeting the needs of those most vulnerable. Now, more than ever, The Kitchen, Inc. must continue our mission of housing people who are homeless”, said Meleah Spencer, CEO. “We are asking the community to drop off donations, whether it is canned goods, household items, or cleaning items. Monetary donations can be mailed to 1630 N Jefferson or completed online at thekitcheninc.org/donate”. You can drop off your donated items at 420 E Blaine, Monday-Friday 8:30 AM-4:30 PM or at our Rare Breed Youth Outreach Center, Monday-Friday 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. The Kitchen, Inc. brings stability and purpose to people who are homeless by displaying respect, dignity, quality, service, and compassion. To learn more, visit www.thekitcheninc.org. ###

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The Kitchen, Inc. continues to follow the directions put forth by the local health officials, the CDC and WHO.

March 25, 2020 Contact: Stefanie Nentrup Community Development Coordinator Snentrup@thekitcheninc.org 417-209-6191 (Cell) FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Springfield, MO – With the recent order to “shelter in place”, The Kitchen, Inc. continues to follow the directions put forth by the local health officials, the CDC and WHO.  We recognize the impact and uncertainty this creates for all in our community. “Can you imagine how scary it is to hear “shelter in place” if you don’t have a home? Where do you go? The Kitchen will continue to provide housing and support services for clients currently in our housing programs and those referred to us by our partnering agencies. Housing is healthcare!” said Meleah Spencer, CEO. The Kitchen, Inc. staff will continue providing resources, support services and health checks for our clients via the phone.  Staff is routinely cleaning and sanitizing all surfaces within our buildings. Physical distancing guidelines are in place and all our clients have the appropriate cleaning products to clean and sanitize their homes as well as food and hygiene items. “Even with all the uncertainty felt, our generous volunteers continue to donate 40 brown bag dinners daily for our Rare Breed youth. We will continue to monitor and adjust strategies to keep everyone safe and healthy moving forward” Spencer stated. We have received questions on how the community can help our clients. Our current needs are antibacterial hand gel, disinfecting wipes, daily multi vitamin, socks and your financial support. Thank you to our donors and volunteers for your commitment in fulfilling our mission of bringing stability and purpose to people who are homeless. If you are planning to get marry, you have to look for good professionals in wedding makeup to look fascinating.  Keep up with The Kitchen, Inc. by following us on social media including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…

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